The Phuien language is spoken by approximately 14,000 people, most of whom live in the southwest of Burkina Faso in the Tuy, Ioba, and Bougouriba provinces. There are also a fair number of speakers of the language living in Bobo-Dioulasso, the second-largest city in Burkina Faso, and in Côte d'Ivoire, where some have gone in search of employment.

The language and the people group are also known by other names, including Buguli, Buguri, Pougouli, Puguli, Pwa, Pwe, Pwie, Pwien, and Pwo. However, those who speak this language call it “Phuien” and call themselves the “Phuó,” or “Phuú” in reference to a single individual.

The Phuó are very proud of their language; they use it at home and at work, resisting pressure to abandon it in favor of any of the more widely used neighboring languages. The Phuien culture is rich in stories and music, and the Phuó use their mother tongue not only in their traditional customs, but also in the local churches, composing Christian songs using indigenous melodies and rhythms.

This document has been designed for use by teachers, literacy workers, and all who wish to read or write in Phuien.

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